Archive | January 2014

FOR THE SAKE OF ART

Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed Nelson was not fond of traveling. He got seasick at the mere mention of the ocean. You’d never get him on an airplane. The pressure nearly made him pass out once. It seem that headache would never go away. Trains were OK, but they took too damn long. Having his choice, Ed would have rather stayed put.

That’s why his colleagues found it strange that Nelson decided to drive to the consortium. It was cramped in his small compact car. And the drive would take longer than any mode available to him. Longer than even taking the train.

Ed Nelson did alright for himself in his sales position. But he had run into a brick wall. He hadn’t advanced his station in years; though he’d have been made a full partner by now. Instead he found himself hauling ass down the interstate to cross state lines before darkness set in.

Up ahead in a clearing he saw it. A Farris wheel, he thought. Or the maddening loop of one of those anti-gravity roller coasters. But as he neared the structure, Ed was sure he had no idea what it was. A sculpture maybe? He laughed loudly. It could be a Druid icon! What ever it was, it looked hideous on the side of the road.

Between exits this monolithic doughnut stood, maybe fifty feet high – a monstrosity. Interwoven like a wreath, bars and crosses, spheres that appeared as heads of some civilization climbing to the heavens. He was so taken by the piece of “art”, Ed Nelson hadn’t noticed the line of people.

Standing at the gaping portal were approximately 40 people dressed in white waiting their turn. On this grey and depressing afternoon, Nelson saw blue skies through the opening. There was sunshine. It was a beautiful day. But only inside the ring. He pulled to the shoulder of the road near the median and stepped out of his car to investigate. Apparently not dressed for the occasion, Nelson was stared at and ignored.

Taking a place at the end of the cue, he tapped the shoulder of a pleasant looking older woman.

“Excuse me Ma’am” Ed began. “What’s going on here?”

“Young man, do you see this monument?” she said softly. “It is the way out of your despair. Through that opening… is redemption!”

“Redemption” Ed Nelson repeated. It sounded nice. He was in need of a change. The “rat race” would have to carry on without him.

But suddenly, the crowd stared to disperse. He stood confused.

“HEY!” he called. “Where’s everyone going? What about redemption?”

One man looked at Nelson and then back at the sculpture.

“Redemption? It’s an ugly piece of art!” the man said incredulously! “Do you have any idea how much of our tax dollar are tied into this… this shit!”

‘Then why is it here?” Ed Nelson finally wanted to know.

The elderly woman who have duped Nelson earlier overheard the question.

“You moron, it’s art… for the sake of Art, you nabob!” she stormed away with the rest of the crowd. Ed Nelson felt foolish and greatly let down, standing by himself. He never saw the placard.

“SPHINCTER” dedicated to the people of this Great State by Governor Art Decoupage.

“Art for Art’s sake” he thought to himself. What a waste of resources! It was only fitting this piece was named after it’s patron!

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FIRST SIP OF LOVE

First KissHe saw her from a distance, a waif with a broad smile and bright eyes and a gait that would mesmerize. Waiting for something, someone perhaps and his lapse of concentration was telling. The players were yelling “GET IN THE GAME!”

Blake Daley was his name. Confident and sure with numbers, but horribly bad on the frozen ponds around which he worked. He blamed weak ankles as a kid. Blake never came forward with his lack of interest in anything athletic. When Blake was asked to act in the role of statistician for the rink, he reluctantly jumped at the chance.

But now his thoughts were elsewhere. There across the rink in the bleachers, where she sat with her friend. And she’d glance over and see him watching. He was far from inconspicuous. When their eyes met on those occasions, she’d grin widely and his cheeks would assume a bright shade of fluster. Blake was nervous around girls. Especially one as striking as Carol.

Her eyes were rich like cocoa, hot and searing, endearing himself to her. Her smile showed brightly, a wide grin full of Chiclets which she wore proudly like her badge of honor. Carol’s hair was the hue of autumn’s height, alight with the auburn which he associated with warmth and comfort. And there she was, so near. So far away.

The combatants completed their task. The game was over with little fanfare. And Blake decided he could no longer stare. He was determined to meet the one so fair with crimson hair.

As Blake approached her, Carol’s friend excused herself leaving the two to close the gap between them or fail miserably trying. Blake would be lying if he admitted to not being nervous. But her demeanor calmed him. Her look was soothing and inviting. Silent introductions and handshakes. His hand sliding to grip her elbow to help her keep balance on the rickety bleachers. And it stayed there as they shuffled to the aisle for their short descent to the exit.

“Can I call?” he asked shyly; softly.

“Do you have a pen?” she smiled.

As she wrote, Carol glanced up at Blake and their eyes embraced each other in looks of future’s promise. Her smile remained, a Cheshire cat in the frigid hockey rink,

Carol returned the pen and slid the scrap of paper into his gloved hand. And she leaned in… a tender kiss catching the corner of his lip.

A gentle peck. Their first “kiss”. He prayed it would last a lifetime!